Music Piracy on Campus

It’s as simple as a few clicks, a couple of minutes and before you know it, you’ve got a copyrighted song downloaded to your computer…for free.

Millions of college students download music illegally, and they do it for many reasons. Why purchase an entire CD when you only want one or two songs for instance? Why even pay for a song when you can simply get it for free? Some students think that just because it’s something that’s being downloaded, it’s not stealing.

These students will all have serious consequences to pay if they ever get caught, as music piracy is a serious act against the law.

According to the court’s ruling in The Recording Industry Association of America v. Verizon Internet Services, entertainment companies posses the right to obtain an individual’s personal contact information if they have evidence he or she is using the Internet to download music illegally.

Many students are not aware of copyright infringement as it relates to downloading music. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the definition of copyright is the protection of the original expression of an idea, whether it is expressed in the form of music, a painting, or written material. A copyright is infringed upon when a song is made available to the public on an Internet site for people to download, thus making it accessible to be reproduced or distributed through e-mail, chat, various Web sites, etc. without authorization from the original owner.

Not only is downloading music illegal, it also prevents the artist who created the music from making a profit from their work. Stealing music betrays songwriters who put in long hours of commitment and dedication into a piece of work intended to not only please fans, but earn the artist a profit as well. After all, making music is their career. Whether they’re an up-and-coming artist or an established musician who has been around for decades, they still need to earn a paycheck just like everyone else.

There are alternatives to music piracy out there. Listed below are just a few suggestions as to where you can go to download your favorite tunes…legally.


This article was written by Melissa Borowski Dronberger

Melissa Borowski Dronberger is a former staff editor for Melissa writes extensively on the topic of undergraduate studies and the college search process.

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